A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting my sister, who was studying abroad in France, in Paris for a long weekend. It was my first time in Paris, and I was very excited to try all the great food that France is known for: baguettes and cheese, snails, and macarons!
We enjoyed a great couple of days visiting museums and eating outside at all the quaint cafes. I had a great time. When she got back from her semester abroad, she gifted us with a ‘Recipes from Burgundy’ cookbook. There are quite the interesting recipes in there, and while I haven’t gotten around to making anything from this book quite yet (where would I even find frogs legs here?), the closest I’ve gotten is this new recipe I tried the other day: Mushroom Bourguignon from Smitten Kitchen.
This vegetarian mushroom bourguignon recipe is very rich – a good thing to make on a cold winter’s night – and it’s not too labor-intensive, so that it’s easily made on a weeknight. It’s a great, easy intro to French cooking, and I recommend it for a beginner. It also smelled heavenly while it was cooking!
I started by slicing 2 pounds of Portabella mushrooms. I removed the stems, as the recipe called for, but in the future I think I’d just keep them in, as I don’t see the reason to remove them, and it just creates extra work. Then I diced 1 small onion, shredded 1 carrot, and minced 3 cloves of garlic. After the prep work, I heated 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat in a large pan. I seared the mushrooms for 3-4 minutes, and removed them from the heat before they began to give off liquid. I placed them in a bowl to rest. Next, I lowered the heat to medium, added some more olive oil to the pan, and added the onion, carrot, 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme.
I let the onion cook for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Then I added in the garlic and let it cook for another minute, and added in the 1 cup of red wine. I let that reduce over high heat for another 5 minutes. At that point, I stirred in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, and stirred to break it up. Then I added in 2 cups of beef broth (use vegetable broth to make it truly vegetarian, or beef for a heartier flavor) and added in the mushrooms. I let that come to a boil and then turned it down to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Then I added in the onions and cooked for another 5 minutes, until they were tender. At that point, I mixed 1 tablespoon of softened butter with 1 ½ tablespoons of flour using a fork, until it became a crumbly texture. I stirred it into the stew, and cooked it for final 10 minutes.
I served the vegetarian mushroom bourguignon over egg noodles, topped with a dollop of sour cream. Delicious!